By Mike Dougherty
It’s only a matter of time before the college coaches step in from the periphery and engage Kyra Cox in lengthy conversations.
Her goal from the beginning was to play golf on the next level.
Cox is on the verge of becoming a prized recruit with two impressive wins already this summer. The rising sophomore at John Jay won the New York State PGA Junior Championship in May at Leatherstocking Golf Course in Cooperstown and last week captured the New York State Women’s Amateur Championship at Tuscarora Golf Club in Marcellus.
And the summer is a long way from over.
“The state amateur is the biggest win of my golf career,” said Cox, a 15-year-old from South Salem who played for the boys team at John Jay and finished tied for 30th at the Section 1 championship. “It felt great to win that one. I didn’t play well the year before, so I was really determined.”
Alexis Hios of Westchester Country Club finished eighth at the New York State Women’s Amateur with a 16-over total of 232.
Cox was sharp all week, going 71-74-72 to finish the championship with a 1-over total of 217. She came in two shots ahead of Lindsay May, a member at Owasco Country Club who’s captured back-to-back NYSPHSAA girls titles.
A little advance work paid off.
“I did go up to Syracuse a little early to get to know the course,” Cox said. “I played it a few time beforehand, and had a great time. The course really suited my eye, and I knew exactly what I had to do with each shot. I had it all planned out and executed all of my shots the way I wanted to.”
This week, she is playing the AJGA’s Gary Gilchrist Golf Academy Boston Junior at Cyprian Keyes Golf Club in Boylston, Mass. An opening-round 75 on Tuesday put her in a tie for seventh with a group of players that includes Briarcliff resident Rina Jung.
Cox is currently 194th and climbing in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings, but is not big on looking for her name on scoreboards.
“Going to a Division I school on a golf scholarship is my goal,” she added. “But I tend not to focus on anything but the next shot.”
Photos of Kyra Cox are courtesy of the NYSGA